Solar Space Heating

Skyline4 Drainback Closed Loop Space Heating Systems

Skyline4 Space Heating Systems are 110 volt for hard freeze climates and qualify for Federal Tax Credit under SRCC OG-100. They are generally custom and need specific design help from SolarRoofs.com or your HVAC Contractor. They can be either Closed loop Glycol or Glycol Drainback. Drainback is preferred to prevent summer overheating when the collector size is close to or exceeds the s/f per gallon of storage ratio.

Skyline collectors can be used with the Drainback options below when the lines are sloped down to the drainback tank, the collectors are level and a Propylene Glycol mixture is used. Special drainback collectors are available.

Drainback system tanks are set up to connect to an internal heat exchanger tank (DBT) such as the Rheem / Rudd or Richmond Heat Exchanger (HE) tanks, or with a very efficient heat exchanger that is inside the drainback tank itself (DBI), they can be connected to any standard water heater. A sophisticated 110 Volt Digital 4 Readout Differential Controller with 4 sensors powering high quality 110 Volt pump(s) are included.

Orientation, and Tilt are very important to space heating systems. Because the sun is so low in the winter sky, for best winter operation the collectors need to be facing within 15 degrees of True south and we recommend at least a 55 degree tilt angle for best winter operation and to help prevent summer overheating. Flush mounting collectors on a south wall has proven quite effective and sun reflection off of white rock or snow in front of the collectors helps performance.

NOTE: Because of the need for custom design, only 80, 120 and 160 s/f system packages are priced below.

Drainback space heating systems:

For Drainback systems the collector feed and return lines must be sloped down to the drainback tank and the standard serpentine Skyline collectors must be level to facilitate drainage. Special fully draining custom Horizontal and vertical Skyline collectors are available that eliminate the need for propylene glycol in the solar loop. Drawings, pictures and / or diagrams are needed for this planning process.

DBT: Drainback tank for use with a tank that has an internal heat exchanger. This closed loop system circulates Non-Toxic Propylene Glycol Antifreeze solution through the Skyline collectors, then through the drainback tank and then thru the heat exchanger in the storage tank.

DBI: Drainback tank with built in internal heat exchangers can be connected to any existing water heater as a second pump moves potable water through a heat exchanger in the drainback tank.

Currently these systems are available only in Silver configurations with 20-01 collectors. Our custom rail mounting system is included. The drainback tanks are delivered directly from the factory in Florida.

Drainback overheat protection is provided by a setting in the controller that limits the temperature in the storage tank and turns off the pump once that temperature is reached and the fluid in the collectors drains back to the drainback tank. For horizontal collectors, any remaining glycol is “blown” into the Drainback upon low pressure steam out.

Sizing Your Space Heating System:

Size the total area of Skyline collectors to be 4-15% of the floor area to be heated (depending on the insulation of the building). Choose the package that most closely matches the square footage of your project and the climate you live in. Milder areas like coastal or southern areas can be effective with as little as 4% of the floor area while very cold sunny areas may need 15%. You may want to do an area specific system where smaller collector areas will work.

Example of a 2000 sq./ft. home:

2000 x 0.08 (6%) = 120 sq. ft of Skyline collector area
2000 x 0.08 (8%) = 160 sq. ft of Skyline collector area
2000 x 0.1 (10%) = 200 sq. ft. of Skyline collector area
2000 x 0.12 (12%) = 240 sq. ft. of Skyline collector area
2000 x 0.08 (15%) = 300 sq. ft of Skyline collector area

Configurations:

SolarRoofs.com provides basic diagrams for space heating systems but there are so many variations that it is not possible to cover them all. System space heating kits are shown with various amounts of collectors, an Eagle 2 controller with 4 sensors, the Drainback tank, 1 or 2 pumps with one of them being a high head bronze pump for the solar loop. Tilt kits are available

“Chill Chaser” Systems

The Chill Chaser is a unique and very simple concept for warming rooms.

These are the simplest systems with a complete Turbonics Hydronic fan coil with built in circulator heating unit that can be placed where ever needed. It works on the principle that when the thermostat in the Chill Chaser senses that there is a need for heat the fan in the Chill Chaser turns on and blows the heat out if the water to air coil into the room.

Connection of the “Chill Chaser” is simple as the unit simply pulls heat from the hot side of the solar tank and returns it to the cold side. It is important that the solar tank be “pure” meaning that the tank must be 100% solar to be most effective. If the electric backup is connected you would be heating with electricity, not a good plan. Also as with all solar system, there must not be a recirculation loop connected to the solar tank.

A simple Electric water heater single pole, double through thermostat (SPDT) mounted in the standard water heater position can be used to activate the pump circuit so when there is a call for heat the pump will only turn on if there is enough heat in the solar storage tank to make a contribution.

Other control options include the Eagle set point controller or a SPDT Remote Bulb Thermostat such as the Sunne TC119 available from Grainger under stock # 2E848.

Homes with radiant floors and air heating systems are good candidates for solar heating but homes with baseboard heat are not because the temperatures required for proper baseboard convection are too high for efficient solar operation.

Space Heating Systems

(80 Square Foot Drainback System # 200144C DBI 10 + Chill Chaser # CC-140)

The Chill Chaser CC-140 with built in fan coil, pump and thermostat is an ideal low cost option to quickly add solar heat to a room or area or the entire home with multiple units. The picture to the left shows a Chill Chaser (Lower Right) in front of a standard water heater with a self contained DX-R Retrofit Kit Drainback tank with built in heat exchanger on top.

The DX-R 10 Retrofit Kit can be used with up to 80 s/f of collector area and connects to any standard water heater. This setup only works efficiently when the tank is powered purely by the sun. Other systems are shown and priced below, tanks are not included.

Please call 1-888-801-9060 for prices on prepackaged systems.

The Silver Skyline4 Drainback system includes the basic parts you need to add solar water heating. As with other typical solar water heating kits, no fittings or tank connections are included so soldering and technical skills are required to finish these systems.

Silver Skyline4 High Value Drainback system includes:

  • SolarRoofs.com’s exclusive Light Weight, Easy to Install Skyline 20-01 collector (s) with Choice of Musket (dark brown or Dove (medium) gray trim colors.
  • Exclusive predrilled collector rail mount system with color coded “U” Brackets, Ell mounting brackets, washers and tec screws.
  • 10, 15 or 20 gallon Drainback tank with or without heat exchanger
  • 1 or 2 - High quality 110 Volt Circulators including one high head pump for the solar side
  • Sophisticated 110 Digital Readout Differential Controller with high temperature limit
  • 1 - 1/2" male low pressure Relief Valve
  • 1 - Hose bib with ½” male thread
  • Tank combo drain valve with 3/4” female fitting.
  • Tank combo drain valve with 3/4” female fitting.
  • 4 - 1/2” x 3/8” copper reducing adaptors
  • 2’ of 3/8” copper tubing
  • Installation Manual, Operations and Maintenance Manual, Labels
  • 2 - additional 10k sensors for a total of 4 digital temperature readouts.

DBI Skyline4 with 10 or 15 gallon Drainback tank with an Internal Heat Exchanger storage tank (SILVER):

20-01 collectors with 2 AC pumps(one high head and 1 small pump for the domestic water loop, digital readout differential controller, for use with any standard water heating tank.

Model # Description
200144C DBI 10 (4) 20-01 (80 ft2) (80 gallon tank recommended)
200146C DBI 15 (6) 20-01 (120 ft2) (120 gallon tank recommended)
200148C DBI15 (8) 20-01 (160 ft2) (240 gallons of storage recommended)

DBT Skyline4 with 10 (120 s/f) and 15 (160s/f) gallon Drainback tank for use with an internal heat exchanger (HE) storage tank(SILVER):

20-01 collectors with high head AC pump, digital readout differential controller, for use with an internal heat exchanger storage tank.

Model # Description
200142C DBT10 (6) 20-01 (120 ft2) for 3 to 5 people (120 gallon tank recommended)
200143C DBT15 (8) 20-01 (160 ft2) for 4 to 6 people (240 gallons of storage recommended)
81V080HE1 Rheem | Rudd | Richmond 80 Gallon 81V080HE1 tank, Delivered
82V120HE1 Rheem | Rudd | Richmond 120 Gallon 82V120HE1 tank, Delivered
EW10 Extended Tank Warranty from 6 to 10 years, includes 2nd Anode Rod

Skyline4 Collector Configuration Options:

Model # Description
C101 Standard Color: Musket Brown (a dark architectural brown)
C109 Standard Color Option: Dove Gray (an attractive Medium Gray)
CXXX Optional Trim Colors: Choose from one of 24 Optional Colors
SC01 Tilt kits, heavy duty custom Collector Array Installation Kit, per collector:

Space Heating Skyline4 Options

Model # Description
MV01 Tempering Valve (3/4” C x C x C)
210K 2, 10 K sensors for 2 additional Differential Controller Temperature Readouts.
QF34 Quad Flow Diverter (with 4 - 3/4” solder connections for duel tanks)
TG01 250F 2" Temperature Gauge with 1/2” MPT fitting
IS12 Insulation: High Temperature Solid 1/2" wall for 1/2" tube X 6' long
IS34 Insulation: High Temperature Solid 1/2" wall for 3/4" tube X 6' long
CC-140 Chill Chaser CC-140 with built in fan coil, pump and thermostat
V8044E1 Honeywell 3 way valve, bottom inlet, 3/4" sweat
V8043E1 Honeywell 2 way valve, 3/4" sweat
DC02 Eagle 2 Controller with line cord and 2 sensors
SP02 Eagle Setpoint Controller with 2 sensors
2E897 Low Voltage Mercury Switch Thermostat (Gr) - White
756-1 White Rogers DPDT water heater thermostat
2E866 24 volt to 120 Volt relay Honeywell (Gr)
4MY93 0-120 F bulb Thermostat - (Gr)
CV34C 3/4" C x C Swing Check Valve
ET301 Expansion Tank # 30
VB12 Vacuum Breaker – 1/2” MPT
AV18 Air Vent – 1/8” MPT
BV34 Ball Valve 3/4” C x C
HB12 Hose Bib 1/2 MPT
006BS Taco 006 PU/TA - 006B - 110VAC Sweat
009BF Taco 008 Pump, Bronze with 3/4" flanges
008BF Taco 009 Pump, Bronze with 3/4" flanges

Skyline collectors can be used with the Drainback options below.

When the lines are sloped down to the drainback tank, the collectors are level and a Propylene Glycol mixture is used. Special drainback collectors are available.

Model # Description
DB10-SS 10 gallon Drainback Reservoir, Stainless Steel with level tube - Up to 160 s/f
DB10-10X-SS 10 gallon Drainback Reservoir with 10 s/f Heat Exchanger - Up to 80 s/f
DB15-SS 15 gallon Drainback Reservoir, Stainless Steel with level tube - Up to 320 s/f
DB15-15X-SS 15 gallon Drainback Reservoir with 15 s/f Heat Exchanger - Up to 160 s/f
DB20-20X-SS 20 gallon Drainback Reservoir with 20 s/f Heat Exchanger - Up to 400 s/f
DX-R 10 Retrofit Kit 10 Gallon reservoir tank with 10 sq.ft. HX, converts any existing water heating tank into a solar water heating system. This system is just parts and requires skill to assemble: Taco 009 High Head Solar Pump (we recommended up to 24’ between bottom of the drainback tank and the top of the collectors), Flange set, Bronze 003 Taco Pump 1/2" Sweat, Differential Control with Sensors (EAGLE-1) Boiler Drain
DX-R 15 Retrofit Kit 15 Gallon reservoir tank with 15 sq.ft. HX, converts any existing water heating tank into a solar water heating system. This system is just parts and requires skill to assemble: Taco 009 High Head Solar Pump (we recommended up to 24’ between bottom of the drainback tank and the top of the collectors), Flange set, Bronze 003 Taco Pump 1/2" Sweat, Differential Control with Sensors (EAGLE-1) Boiler Drain
PGHD 1 Gallon of Heavy Duty Pressurized loop Propylene Glycol, For down to -54 F and up to 300 F / 10 year life. Mix 50/50
PGDB 1 Gallon of Heavy Duty Drainback tank Propylene Glycol without additives, For down to -54 F and up to 300 F / 10 year life. Mix 50/50